U.S. small businesses with one to 99 employees, spent approximately $410 million on purchasing accounting software solutions in the last year, according to consulting firm Access Markets International Partners Inc.
AMI-Partners conducts an annual tracking survey of small and midsized businesses in more than 20 countries, and said that it expects the total spending to reach more than $500 million by 2008, and that the average annual increase for the industry is nearly 6 percent. The company said that the majority of small business cited the most important traits of accounting software as: easy installation, a user-friendly interface, and that the program be tailored specifically to their size.
Pointing to Microsoft's recent push into the market, AMI said that it believes there is still tremendous opportunity in the U.S. small business market. The study found more than half of all small businesses still do not use any accounting software solution. In addition, the study found that nearly three quarters of all businesses upgrade their accounting software package every one to two years, opening the door for consideration of new solutions.
"These small businesses may be using spreadsheets or even paper and pencil for their accounting needs," said research analyst Arjun Mehra, in a statement. "However, pressures to operate more efficiently, improve compliance with Sarbanes-Oxley and other regulatory requirements, and the need to electronically exchange information with larger customers and suppliers make it likely that many of these companies will deploy accounting solutions in the future," he said.
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